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Capital News Today

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Mrs. Murray 86, Washington 34, Alabama 11, Mr. Inhofe 9, Madam 8, Mr. Merkley 7, Mr. Johnson 7, Mr. Roberts 7, Mr. Cardin 7, Mr. Graham 6, Maryland 5, South Carolina 5, Shelby 5, Mr. Menendez 5, Mr. Shelby 5, Mr. Reid 5, Oregon 4, Wisconsin 4, Oklahoma 4, New Jersey 4,
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  CSPAN    Capital News Today    News/Business. News.  

    March 22, 2013
    11:00 - 2:00am EDT  

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vote:
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the presiding officer: have all senators voted? does any senator wish to change his or her vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 46. the nays are 53. the amendment is not agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. mr. reid: lay that on the table.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: a lot of progress has been made. we're doing extremely well. a senator: madam president, the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mr. reid: madam president, i said that i admire the progress made by the two managers of this bill. over the last two decades in budget resolutions, after expiration of debate time on those budget resolutions senators offered and the senate disposed of an average of 35 amendments. today since expiration of that debate time on this resolution we've disposed of 33 amendments. we've considered and disposed of 44 amendments on the resolutions in total counting those we did yesterday. madam president, we need to continue working. there's a lot of things people want to offer, but, you know, it's 400 amendments already have been filed. senator byrd, who we all revere -- and i quote -- "when he said
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i once described vote-a-ramas as a pan money i can't -- as a pandemonium. but that term fails to describe the ignominy of the senate when it becomes engulfed in budget vote carnivals. we are not at carnival stage yet. let's try to finish this with a lot of dignity. i again tell senator murray and senator sessions what a good job they've done and we need to proceed and see what else we can get done. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the next amendments in order to be called up be the following. mccaskill 366, johnson of wisconsin 213, brown 455 and scott 597. there be no second-degree amendments in order prior to the votes in relation to these amendments, not withstanding all time having expired and the
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resolution there be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote, that upon disposition of scott 597 the majority have the next amendment in order. finally all these votes be ten-minute votes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mrs. murray: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the clerk report en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from washington, mrs. murray, proposes amendments en bloc for mrs. mccaskill amendment 366, for mr. johnson of wisconsin amendment number 213, for mr. brown amendment number 455, for mr. scott, amendment numbered 597. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: madam president, i would just add to what the majority leader said. senators have been very good in helping us work through our list on both sides. we'll have some more amendments to be offered, a unanimous consent in just a short while once we work through these. again, i would ask all senators
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to please work with your leader on your side -- jeff sessions on the republican side and myself. we need to know which amendments you have to have so we can start letting senators know where we're going to end up here. i would ask everybody just to continue cooperating with us and appreciate everybody who's been working so hard. with that, i believe senator mccaskill -- the presiding officer: two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment 366 offered by the senator from missouri, mrs. mccaskill. mrs. mccaskill:it contains a provision supporting the transition of our military to the workforce by recognizing the process is too cumbersome for them in terms of credentialing requirements and licensing requirements. what my amendment does, it clarifies this section to ensure
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a service member's military training, education and experience shall be taken into account for both federal and state licensing requirements. these men and women have performed technical jobs in the most difficult circumstances imaginable. we should recognize that and accept their service and their experience and their training and allow them to be easily credentialed when they return home. it helps them so much in search for jobs. i would ask for a voice vote. mr. enzi: i think our side would accept a voice vote. mrs. murray: hearing no opposition, i suggest we voice vote this amendment. the presiding officer: if there is no further debate, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider and lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without
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objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 213 offered by the senator from wisconsin, mr. johnson. mr. johnson: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. johnson: i would call my amendment 213 be presented. the presiding officer: the amendment is pending. mr. johnson: it is a very simple amendment. it recognizes, i think, what most of us recognize that it is the entitlement program -- social security and medicare, the primary drivers of our debt and deficit. this is a simple amendment. it says it establishes a budget point of order that any budget resolution that is brought forward that does not count or does not prepare a 75 year solvency for social security and medicare would be out of order. in the next 20 years we'll be paying out $5.1 trillion in benefits in excess of what we are bringing in in terms of dedicated revenue to the payroll tax. the unfunded liability of social
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security is $20.5 trillion. for medicare the unfunded liability is $42.8 trillion. these programs must be reformed so they are saved for future generations. again, i would hope everybody would support -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. johnson: -- any budget that does not have 57 year solvency. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: social security and medicaid played a critical role in providing a foundation of financial security and health care for hundreds of millions of americans over the decades. democrats are committed to preserving and protecting them. when analyzing the solvency of these programs, it must be over more than just a ten-year budget window. we measure them over a 75-year window. this amendment, however, does nothing to protect the integrity of the medicare and social security trust funds tanned does not do anything to improve the solvency of them. we should have a debate about
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the solvency of these programs but not on the budget resolution. and i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment. i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and yeas are ordered. the question is on the amendment. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator wish to vote? does any senator wish to change his or her vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 46. the nays are 53. the amendment is not agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment 455 offered by the senator from ohio, mr. brown. the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you. i rise and join with senator blunt in our bipartisan
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amendment number 455 in support of a national network for manufacturing innovation. i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record letters from the national association of manufacturers, semiconductor industry association, the american auto companies, united auto workers and the association of public and land grant universities and others. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you. this amendment offers one commonsense approach by partnering with private industry to bring together companies, small businesses, research institutions, community colleges so we can out-innovate the rest of the world. madam president, i ask for support and yield the remainder of my time to senator blunt. mr. blunt: these entities would allow basic entities to come together with product development. it brings the research elements, the universities and others together with private capital and even some government agencies in ways that let things happen that wouldn't otherwise. and i'm pleased to join senator
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brown in offering this to the senate. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i don't believe there's any opposition to this amendment and i ask that we take it by voice vote. the presiding officer: all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, nay. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. a senator: lay on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 5 597, offered by the senator from south carolina, mr. scott. the senator from south carolina. mr. scott con. thank you. my amendment is very simple. it prohibits the automatic deduction of union dues from federal employees' paychecks.
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i yield back the balance of my time. the presiding officer: who yields time in opposition? mrs. murray: madam president, has -- the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: the senator has yielded back his time? madam president, i would speak in opposition. gains in quality, productivity and efficiency year after year, in department after department would not have been possible without the reasonable and sound use of collective bargaining and worker representation. this amendment is just another in a long line of attempts to kill public-sector unions, unions that represent and ensure quality public service. and i strongly recommend that my colleagues oppose this amendment. i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. the question is on the amendment. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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is
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the presiding officer: does any
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senator wish to vote? does any senator wish to change his or her vote? on this vote, the yeas are 43, the nays are 56. the amendment is not agreed to. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in orderment mrs. murray: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mrs. murray: i ask the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: madam president, the senate's not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mrs. murray: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the next amendments in order to be called up be the following: cardin number 706, inhofe number 359, menendez number 705, sessions number 614, merkley number 696, roberts number 187, menendez
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number 619, portman number 152, that there be no second-degree amendments in order prior to the votes in relation to any of these amendments. that notwithstanding all time having expired on the resolution, there be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote. upon disposition of the portman number 152, the majority have the next amendment in order, and all these votes be 10 minutes and we report them en bloc. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the clerk will report the amendments en bloc. the clerk: the senator from washington, mrs. murray, proposes for mr. cardin, amendment numbered 706, for mr. inhofe amendment numbered 359, for mr. menendez amendment numbered 705, for mr. sessions, amendment numbered 614, for mr. merkley, amendment numbered 696, for mr. roberts, amendment numbered 187, for mr. menendez, amendment numbered 619, for mr. portman, amendment numbered 152.
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the presiding officer: there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment706, offered by the senator from maryland, mr. cardin. the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: madam president, thank you very much. if we could have order in the senate. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mr. cardin: thank you, madam president. we have two amendments that are going to be considered. one that i'm offering, one that senator inhofe's amendment. senator inhofe's amendment is a rather extreme amendment. it cuts the funds to the environmental protection agency and basically prohibits them from regulating carbon emissions. i think -- i would hope that most of us would consider that a rather extreme position to take to prevent the environmental protection agency from protecting the environment. my amendment is an amendment that says that -- that the carbon emission standards must be cost-effective and we all agree that they should be
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cost-effective. it should be base upon best available science and benefit low-income and middle-class families. i think we could all agree, i would hope, on the amendment that i would offer and i would hope we would do that and allow the environmental protection agency to carry out its critical mission on behalf of the people of this country. mr. inhofe: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: madam president, i'd like to ask one question of the author and then make a comment. first of all, this does not authorize the e.p.a. to regulate in any way. this sets the standards; is that correct? mr. cardin: the senator is correct. mr. inhofe: okay. madam president, i support this amendment. i suggest that we voice vote it. the presiding officer: if there's no further debate, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. mr. leahy: move to table. the presiding officer: without
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objection. there are now two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment 359, offered by mr. inhofe of oklahoma. mr. inhofe: thank you, madam president. the people at home are going out of business every day and i think everybody knows that. it's the overregulation that's out there. a lot of people talk about the problems with the taxes. i contend that the imposition of these regulations are even worse than the taxes. and this regulation does one thing, it stops the e.p.a. from having the jurisdiction over the regulation of carbon. i retain the balance of my time. the presiding officer: who yields time? mrs. murray: madam president, i yield to the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: madam president, senator inhofe's amendment will cut money from the environmental protection agency that's already
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gone through, i think, three rounds of cuts plus sequestration and then prevents it from carrying out its mission; that is, to regulate our environment. it's a very extreme approach. we've already approved the cardin amendment that establishes the right standards for regulating carbon emissions. i would urge my colleagues to reject the inhofe amendment. mrs. murray: ask for the yeas and nays. mr. inhofe: madam president, i think i have 30 seconds or so left, or 20 seconds. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. the senator is correct, he has 30 seconds. mr. inhofe: okay. we've been -- they've been trying to regulate carbon now legislatively for ten years and they've been unable to do it. i actually had a bill up where we got 50 votes but it took a 60-vote threshold to make it happen. so we know that the votes really are here for people who are concerned about overregulation. i would only leave you with a quote from dr. richard lindsen from m.i.t., who said that, "regulating carbon is the bureaucrat's dream. if you regulate car borntion you
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regulate life -- carbon, you regulate life." i suggest that you vote in favor of this amendment. the presiding officer: the senator's has expired. mrs. murray: madam president, has all time been used on our side? the presiding officer: senator murray has 30 seconds left. mrs. murray: madam president, i yield to the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: let me just point out that the -- the framework that is set up is to protect our health. it has to be based upon best science. it's got to protect low- and middle-income families and it has to be done in a cost-effective way. that should be our mission. and that is what the -- we've already approved. i would urge us to reject the inhofe amendment. mr. inhofe: madam president, i think i have five seconds remaining. i would just say -- the presiding officer: all time has expired. mrs. murray: madam president, i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the jays nays are order. the -- the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 47, the nays are 52. the amendment is not agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. box move to lay that on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 705 offered by the senator from new jersey, mr. menendez.
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the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, is my amendment called up, 705? the presiding officer: the amendment is pending. mr. menendez: mr. president, this side-by-side to senator sessions is very straightforward. it restates current law. let hey rate that. it restates current law which already explicitly excludes undocumented immigrants who are in this country from obtaining benefits sufficient as tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies when obtaining health insurance coverage. we debated this at length during health care reform and this exemption was included in the final bill to address concerns of some of our republican colleagues that undocumented immigrants would somehow be able to receive the benefits we included in the law. that is why we specifically and splicexplicitly excluded them fm being able to obtain this type
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of consequently. addressing the issue issues of immigrant families is currently being done in a bipartisan fashion. the last thing we need to do is to try to muck that up. so this is not a great way to do your outreach to the hispanic and immigrant community. so i urge our colleagues just to stay with present law, let's restate it once again. support our amendment and reequity j the sessions amendment. -- and reject the sessions a.m. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, is agreiagree that the senator's amendment restates current law. i have no objection to that. i would accept that. but the question is -- and what has been suggested in the paper from what i've seen is that if a person is in our country illeg illegally and they are rewarded with some legal status, do they then immediately become eligible
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for federal health care benefits? it's a different situation than somebody who came legally and has got legal status. so i would say -- i would accept a voice vote on this. mr. menendez: on this, i ask for the yeas and nays. mr. sessions: my amendment will deal with the next question. the presiding officer: is there -- mrs. murray: mr. president you i believe that there's no opposition. if we could take a voice vote on this. the presiding officer: is there any further debate? hearing none, the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. opposed, no. the amendment is adopted. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: there now are two minutes equally
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divided briar to a vote in relation to amendment 614 offered by is not prosecutor alabama. mr. sessions: under current law, if a person is here unlawfully and becomes lawfullized in some fashion, they then become qualified for this program. -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: and so the question is, should they become then qualified for obamacare or medicaid? and the answer, i think, is "no." and i think that's what people have said they believe. so my amendment would simply say that if you are here illegally, did not enter lollly legally, yn do not qualify for the federal programs of obamacare and medicaid. mrs. murray: mr. president, i yield the time to the senator from new jersey.
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mr. menendez: mr. president, nothing changes present law, and if there was any contemplative change, which i can tell you i think the group of eight wouldn't mind me saying that nothing is contemplated to change what the senator is concerned about in our negotiations, it would have to come before this body before in fact it could be changed. so the current law is very clear. you do not have access to any of the benefits that the senator is worried about, because present law prohibits an undocumented immigrant from having access to those benefits. that's why this is unnecessary. it's just the need, i guess, of some to have an immigration amendment. mrs. murray: mr. president, i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote: the presiding officer: any senators wishing to change their vote or who haven't voted? if not, the ayes are 43. the nays are 56. the amendment is not adopted.
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without objection. mrs. murray: lay it on the table. the presiding officer: there are two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 696 offered by the senator from oregon, mr. merkley. mr. merkley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: mr. president, would the chamber come to order? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. merkley: colleagues under the american system of justice where lady justice is blindfolded, there should never be a prosecution-free zone, but that is what the department of justice announced there is on tuesday, december 11 of last year. they said they would find but they would not indict and they would not prosecute hong kong shanghai bank corporation for laundering 800 million in illicit drug money that violated u.s. sanctions against iran, sudan, cuba and other countries against american law and for
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allowing $200 trillion to bypass the sanctions and money laundering filters. as "the new york times" reported, the department of justice decided not to indict hsbc -- quote -- "over concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world's largest banks and destabilize the financial steufplt" our attorney general repeated his justification on march 6, 2013 saying i'm concerned of the size that some of these institutions become so large it does become difficult to prosecute them. the presiding officer: the time of the senator expired. mr. merkley: i ask unanimous consent for 20 more seconds. the presiding officer: is there objection? mrs. murray: is there opposition? mr. sessions: how many seconds? mrs. murray: 20. the presiding officer: 20 seconds. mr. merkley: thank you. too big to jail is wrong under a constitution that promises equality under the law. let's send a strong message by supporting this.
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and i thank my republican sponsors, senators grassley, heller, cornyn, shelby and democrats warren and levin and our independent senator, senator sanders. thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, you know, i -- maybe someone else here did -- but i prosecuted banks before, big institution and put some people in jail. this is a serious thing. i don't think the deficit reserve fund is the way to go about it, frankly. but it is an issue worthy of discussion. it should be brought up in the authorizing committee, judiciary committee and considered. i'm inclined to believe we've had too little prosecution in these cases. i think the right thing to do is take this by voice vote and the people can decide how they want to vote on it. mrs. murray: mr. president. i believe there is no opposition. we can take it by a vote and
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senator merkley has asked for a loud vote. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. opposed? the ayes have it. the amendment is -- the amendment is adopted. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. a senator: move to lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are two minutes of debate equally divided on amendment number 187. who yields time? the senator from kansas. mr. roberts: i call up this amendment which would prohibit funds for promotional and marketing materials that promote the affordable health care act and benefits at taxpayer expense. according to documents subpoenaed last year, h.2-s
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spent almost $52 million in behalf of the affordable health care act public relations work using outside contractors. that's just not right. when the media is reporting more and more problems, more costs, more regulations, more lost jobs, higher premiums, this is a gratuitous use of taxpayer dollars. it sets a very bad precedent for the department of health and human services, stretching the truth at best at public expense. this administration should not be using american taxpayer dollars to fund marketing and promotional campaigns, promoting a law and regulations that a majority of americans propose -- pardon me. oppose. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i yield to the senator from iowa. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, this ought to be known as the harry potter invisibility cloak amendment. anyone who has read harry potter knew he had this invisibility cloak he put over him and you
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couldn't see him. he tried 36 separate times to get rid of the atpoerbl care act -- affordable care act and couldn't do it so now they want to put an invisible cloak on it. we can't tell people that now they can get coverage even though they have a preexisting condition. we can't tell people they can go on the exchanges starting this october where they can get good comprehensive health care. let's vote down the harry potter invisibility cloak amendment. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. is there a sufficient second? mr. roberts: harry potter accepts it on a voice vote.
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mrs. murray: mr. president, i ask for a voice vote. the presiding officer: hearing no further debate, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the noes appear to have it. the noes do have it. the amendment is not adopted. the senator from kansas. mr. roberts: mr. president, a parliamentary inquiry. a parliamentary inquiry, if i may, sir. the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. roberts: i respectfully ask the parliamentarian if the official senate decibel meter indicates the ruling by the distinguished parliamentarian that the count -- or that the vote was not accurate on the last vote. the presiding officer: in the opinion of the chair, the noes
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had it. mr. roberts: perhaps a hearing problem. the presiding officer: motion to reconsider. mrs. murray: lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. the amendment is not agreed to. without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 619 offered by the senator from new jersey, mr. menendez. mr. menendez: mr. president, this amendment would allow for better coordination of our flood mitigation programs to meet the unmet needs of victims of disaster. as homeowners along the jersey shore seek to recover from
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superstorm sandy, they are not just faced with the task of rebuilding, but they also have to comply with new incredibly costly elevation requirements. seniors who have lived in their modest homes their entire lives now facing tens of thousands of dollars in unanticipated costs, all in addition to the cost of rebuilding. and while there are federal programs available to help coordination among these programs is incredibly poor and leads to a lot of victims never being helped. for example, there are hazard mitigation grants available but homeowners will lose eligibilities if they begin work before their application was approved even if they comply with every other rule and regulation. my amendment would allow for legislation to coordinate and finally tune these mitigation programs so they operate more effectively and meet the unmet needs of disaster victims. the amendment would not cost any money nor add a penny to the deficit. it encourages the use of current programs in a more wise and
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coordinated fashion. the presiding officer: the time of the senator has expired. the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i think we can accept this by voice vote. i would note to my colleagues that the house has nine reserve funds in it. the senate now has about 50. we've adopted already. we've had reserve funds adopted for education, clean energy, infrastructure, farm payments, food stamps, health care, pensions, housing, tooth dekaeurbgs -- decay, and now homeowners. so these create 50 ways to pass taxes more easily. it turns the budget discipline, if we don't watch it, into mush and makes it difficult to do -- maintain the integrity of the budget act and avoids really in some ways the hard work of setting priorities.
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i think we should do this by voice vote, but i just want to call my colleagues' attention to the fact that reserve funds too readily used can undermine the integrity of the budget process. the presiding officer: any further debate? hearing none, all those in favor say aye. opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 152 offered by the senator from ohio mr. portman. the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president, this is an amendment that actually saves some money. it is an amendment that instructs the judiciary committee to produce savings of over $60 billion by cutting back on frivolous lawsuits through
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medical malpractice reform. today patients and physicians alike are held hostage by a broken medical liability system that continues to incentivize defensive medicine, leads to a lot of wasteful spending, unnecessary tests and studies. pricewaterhouse coopers released a study showing the estimate cost of this defensive medicine is about $210 billion a year. comprehensive medical malpractice reform has been proposed by simpson-bowles and by rivlin-domenici, by other bipartisan deficit-reduction groups. it's also been examined in depth as a means for deficit reduction by the nonpartisan congressional budget office c.b.o. told us that sensible medical malpractice reform could reduce the deficit by over $62 billion over ten years. c.b.o. also points out that comprehensive reform could alleviate shortages of certain kinds of physicians around the country. the amendment provides maximum flexibility for the judiciary committee allowing the committee to determine the best way to achieve deficit reduction by reforming the current system.
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this flexibility includes the ability to enact reforms that would only come into effect if states fail to act. obamacare not only led to rising insurance premiums and loss of employer sponsored coverage but also missed this crucial opportunity to reduce cost while maintaining access to critical specialty care. let's set this reform in motion today as part of this budget process. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i oppose this amendment. malpractice premiums and claims and claims payoffs have gone down in recent years partly as the result of steps many states straeubgen. caps on noneconomic damages limit compensation for harms such as loss of fertility or severe disfigurement or loss of mobility or loss of a spouse or child. damage caps do not affect frivolous lawsuits but rather impact the victim who is
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seriously injured and who would win in court. tort reform can create enormous risks and costs, immunizing health care providers against accountability for their mistakes risks increasing the number of preventible medical errors. so, mr. president, this proposal would cut losses for insurers by curbing our patients' right to sue but there is no requirement in these proposals for insurers to pass on any savings to the doctors who pay their premiums. i recommend a no vote on this amendment. i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: if tphotd the jayce are 43, the nays are 56. the amendment is not adopted. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, --
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the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: for the information of all senators -- the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mrs. murray: for the information of all senators, we've had really good cooperation. we're really working this list down. i have another unanimous consent, i believe most of these will go by voice vote. i really appreciate everybody's cooperation. i would ask unanimous consent that the next amendments in order be called up, be the following. johanns 624, cork ran 295, burr 232, wicker 538, coburn 512, shelby 340, there be no debate in order prior to the votes. two minutes equally divided prior to each vote and all the votes be ten-minute votes that upon disposition of the shelby
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amendment 340, the next amendment be in order from the majority and i ask unanimous consent it be reported en bloc. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the clerk will report the amendments en bloc. the clerk: the senator from washington mrs. murray proposes amendments en bloc johanns 624, corker 295, burr 232, wicker 538, coburn 412 and shelby 340. the presiding officer: there are two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 624 offered by the senator from nebraska, mr. johanns. the senator from nebraska. mr. johanns: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, this amendment restores families' ability to plan ahead for health care costs and afford care. it eliminates a cap on flexible
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spending accounts. mr. roberts: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. johanns: it also eliminates the silly requirement that americans get a doctor's prescription to purchase over-the- counter-medications with their f.s.a. or health savings account. in addition, the health savings account can be used for people who have disabilities. so this eliminates the possibility of doing that beyond the cap. so i ask my colleagues to support me in eliminating the cap and eliminating this crazy requirement about getting a doctor's prescription to use a common medication. it is supported by the national down's syndrome society, the national center for learning disabilities and the chamber of commerce. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i
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have looked at this amendment. i do have some concerns about the implementation but i think we can work them out. i would be willing to accept this on a voice vote. the presiding officer: any further debate? hearing none, the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number -- mrs. murray: move to reconsider and lay on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 295 offered by the senator from tennessee, mr. corker. the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: mr. president, we saw during this last c.r. that there's a process where you can
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take money out of mandatory spending temporarily and spend more in discretionary spending which over the last two years has allowed us to spend $35 billion more than the budget control act allowed. senator mikulski, senator shelby both agree that there is a problem here. they have agreed to try to work towards a solution to keep this gimmick from being used again in the future. i will say this came over from the house this way. it's not something that originated here in the senate. but because they've agreed to work towards a solution, i withdraw my amendment and thank them for their cooperation. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i'm going to thank the gentleman from tennessee first for consulting with senator shelby and i. you're exactly right. he's identified a problem. we're concerned it's -- his amendment is bit broad brushed,
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but i promise you we will definitely work with you, and i appreciate you withdrawing the amendment. i'm going to say publicly in front of my colleagues, we'll definitely work with you. mr. corker: thank you very much. the presiding officer: there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 232 offered by the senator from alabama, mr. shelby. mr. shelby: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, i do believe you're out of order on the list. that's my suggestion. you called up the shelby amendment. mrs. murray: mr. president, i believe -- mr. president? mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i believe the next amendment in order is the burr amendment number 232. the presiding officer: the senator is correct.
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amendment number 232 offered by the senator from north carolina, mr. burr. mr. burr: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: mr. president, very quickly, the purpose of my amendment is very simple. it's to protect the american people and strengthen our national security by fully funding the biomedical advanced research and development authority and the bioshield reserve fund. barta and bioshield are critical components of our nation's medical countermeasure enterprise. today these programs ensure that we have the countermeasures necessary to protect the american people against the full range of chemical, biologic, radio logic and nuclear threats whether natural or the result of man-made attacks. after 9/11, congress established bioshield to encourage the development of these countermeasures. supporting barta and bioshield at their authorized levels is a matter of national security and
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should be a priority. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i'm speaking for my counterpart. this is another deficit-neutral fund that i know senator sessions has been expressing his concern about all evening. but i am delighted to accept this amendment on a voice vote. the presiding officer: any further debate? hearing none, the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes appear to it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 538 offered by the senator from mississippi, mr. wicker. who yields time?
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who yields time? the senator from mississippi. the senate will be in order. mr. wicker: thank you. this amendment simply puts us back where we were several years ago at a 60-vote point of order for unfunded mans. washington, you shouldn't use excessive unfunded mans to shove the weight of irresponsible government growth down to state and local governments. the threshold now is 51 votes to waive a point of order on unfunded mans. and this amendment would simply put it back the way it used to
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be in the law to 60 votes. i urge a "yes" vote. all those opposed, no. the notices appear to have it. mr. wicker: division. mr. president? mr. president? mrs. murray: mr. president? mr. wicker: the chair accepted the amendment. if we're going to start enforcing this, then i'll marshal my forces and we'll learn to yell louder but the chair accepted my amendment. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i believe that a voice vote was a "yes" vote and if i would ask my colleagues if we could redo the
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vote so i could hear it. [laughter] the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 412, offered by the senator from oklahoma, mr. coburn. mr. coburn: mr. president? this is a simple vote. the postal service lost $15.8 billion last year. political parties contributed to that loss by we getting a discount on all our mail. and all this will do is put us at the same rate as everybody else commercially in terms of the mailing. it's probably about $50 million to $60 million if we pass this amendment that we'll increase the revenue to the postal
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service. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i will not oppose this amendment. i'm delighted to see another deficit-neutral reserve fund put into place on this bill that i know my colleague on the other side of the aisle has not been very happy about throughout the process. but in the spirit of goodwill, i'm happy to accept this amendment on a voice vote. the presiding officer: any further debate? the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. murray: move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: move to table. the presiding officer: without objection.
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there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 340, offered by the senator from alabama, mr. shelby. mr. shelby: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. shelby: this amendment would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation that requires financial regulators to perform rigorous cost-benefit analysis of their proposed rules. if this analysis determines that a proposed rule cost exceeds its benefits, the rule should not be implemented. and given the far-reaching scope many new financial rules will have on our markets, i believe it's imperative that regulators conduct thorough cost-benefit analysis to fully understand how these rules will affect our economy. i understanindependent financias operate urn a patchwork of federal -- under a patchwork of federal laws that require varying degrees of economic analysis and provide too much
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discretion to regulators. as a result, job creators, american job creators, under siege from capricious rule-making activities. regulations should be based on solid evidence and supported by robust economic analysis, not the arbitrary preferences of bureaucrats. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i yield my time to the senator from south dakota. mr. johnson: mr. president, i rise in strong opposition to the amendment 340. this amendment is another attempt to block wall street reform. this amendment would slow down rule making and invite wall street to bring lawsuits against their financial regulators. g.a.o. recently found that the recent financial crisis may have cost us over $13 trillion. we should not hamstring the cops on the beat as they try to
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prevent another crisis. efforts to undermine sensible regulations are opposed by many organizations, including aarp, c.f.a. and the afl-cio. i oppose this amendment and urge my colleagues to do so as well. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i join my colleague in oppose this go amendment and ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote, the ayes 47, the nays 52. the amendment is not agreed to. a senator: move to table. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i have another group of amendments that i'm going to ask unanimous consent on so for all senators, i ask unanimous consent that the next amendments in order be called up be the following: flake number 225, graham number 329, heller number 293, boozman number 527, portman number 153, ayotte number 136, that there be no second-degree amendments in order prior to the votes in relation to any of thee amendments. that notwithstanding all time having expired on the resolution, there be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote, that all votes be 10-minute votes. that after the disposition of ayotte amendment, the next amendment in order be an amendment from the majority. and i ask that all amendments be
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called up en bloc. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: i'd ask the chairperson of the budget committee how many more tranches of amendments there might be tonight? mrs. murray: i would answer the senator, we are working through between the majority and the minority as fast as we can. i don't think anybody here can say i haven't been working my tail off to get their amendment up. so we're doing our best to get everybody considered as we've been getting them from both sides. and if we can keep going on this, i'm happy to do it. mrs. boxer: parliamentary inquiry, please. parliamentary inquiry. could i ask through the -- could i ask the chair how many amendments we've voted on on this budget, both voice and actual votes? the presiding officer: is there take the time to find out the answer to that question. mrs. murray: could i make a suggestion? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray murray: i think a lt people want to know the answer to that question.
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if we could move to the flake amendment, i can get that answer. mrs. boxer: i have the answer. it's 61. the presiding officer: the senator from washington has a unanimous consent request. is there objection? hearing none, so ordered. there are now two minutes equally -- a senator: mr. president? mrs. murray: mr. president, i believe that the senate -- the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendments en bloc. the clerk: the senator from washington, mrs. murray, proposes en bloc amendments numbered 225 by flake, graham, 329, heller 293, boozman 527, portman 153, ayotte 136.
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the presiding officer: there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 225, offered by the senator from arizona, mr. flake. mr. flake: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. i have not yet delivered my maiden speech on this floor so i'll be very brief because i don't want to spoil that. i plan to withdraw this amendment. i understand that there will be a point of order raised against germaneness with a 60-vote threshold that i can't overcome. but i just want to make the point that this body has done good work over the last years -- the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the senator is not in order. the senator from arizona. mr. flake: this body has done good work over the last two years on a bipartisan basis to get rid of the scourge of earmarks and the abuse of earmarks that's taken place in both this chamber and the house chamber. and this amendment would have simply been for a point of order to be raised if earmarks were
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contained in legislation. i would just encourage this body to continue the practice that has been -- that has occurred over the past two years and not have congressional earmarks. and with that, i -- i thank you for your indulgence. i will ask unanimous consent to withdraw this amendment. the presiding officer: the amendment is withdrawn. there are now two minutes equally divide you had prior to a vote in relation to amendment 32 by the senator from south carolina, mr. graham. the senator from south carolina. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: the amendment of senator graham, number 329. mr. graham: we need to vote for this. thank you very much. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: about 500,000 or
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600,000 federal employees will be furloughed because of sequester strags. they will miss one day of week per day. we can't dock our own pay constitutionally but i am asking through this amendment that all of us beginning in april take 20% of our salary, give it to the charity of our choice or anybody you would like, so that we would feel what other peel are feeling because of the sequestration. thank you. have a good night. is there athe presiding officers there an amendment? mr. graham: yes. i'll take a voice vote, absolutely. the presiding officer: the senator washington. mrs. murray: i am happy to take this on a voice vote. mr. graham: have a good morning. the presiding officer: any further debate in the question is on the amendment. all those in tariff say aye. -- all those in favor, say aye. all those opposed, say "no."
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the chair is in doubt. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the no's appear to have it. mr. graham: wait, a minute. i'd ask for a roll call vote. i'll ask for -- i'll ask for another -- i'll take a recount. mrs. murray: i was really trying to focus on what the senator was saying. it was very difficult for him to understand. and i think many of us were confused about the amendment. i support the amendment, and i would ask for the yeas and nays so we can all hear what the vote is. i ask for -- i'm so, i ask for a voice vote. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to.
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mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: there are now two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 293 by the senator from nevada, mr. heller. the senate will come to order. the senator from nevada. mr. heller: mr. president -- mr. president, my amendment refen forces the importance of the role of state having primary responsibility for wildlife management. if the sage grouse is listed as an endangered species, it will hurt most states in the western portions of the country. it will make important activities such as renewable energy and grazing in many cases impossible. i need help and support on this. i'd urge support for this amendment. and i appreciate the help and support that i've gotten from senators hatch, crapo, and senator risch. thank you. mrs. murray: mr. president,
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this actually is a commonsense approach. i do urge my colleagues to support this amendment. and i would be happy to accept it on a voice vote. the presiding officer: any further debate? hearing none, the question is on the amendment. all those if favor, say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. thizethe ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 527 by the senator from arkansas, mr. boozman. mr. boozman: thank you, mr. president. this amendment would discourage the taking of private property to transfer to another private, nongovernmental use. it does not diminish the use of eminent domain. for public right-of-way, to acquire abandoned property, or to remove immediate threats to
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public health or safety. in the past we've had significant bipartisan support in regard to protecting property rights, so i would encourage us to vote for the amendment. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i do not oppose this amendment and i'm happy to have a voice vote. the presiding officer: any further debate? the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 45 -- 153 by the senator from ohio, mr. portman. the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president, this is a jobs amendment. this is about having trade promotion authority, which enables us to knock down barriers to trade. i am offering this in connection with senator wyden today and
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also senator hatch. i'll be supporting later the enforce act that will be offered by senator wyden. but bottom line is, not since 2007 have we had trade promotion authority in this country. without it, we can't complete trade agreements. as a result, america is falling behind. because other countries are completing agreements and the people getting hurt the most are ours. if you want to give workers in this country a fair shake by knocking down barriers to trade, you should vote for this amendment. i had a now like to yield to my colleague from oregon. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president, just very briefly, i think this is an opportunity to update or laws, particularly look at environmental protections, labor rights, digital trade. i'd urge all colleagues to support this a.m. -- this amendment. mrs. murray: mr. president, i'm willing to accept this on a voice vote. the presiding officer: any further debate? the question is on the amendment. all knows if favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the device have it. the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes equally divided prior it a vote in relation to amendment 136 by the senator from new hampshire, ms. ayotte. ms. ayotte: mr. president, my amendment would establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to prohibit funding for the medium-extended air defense system known as meads. this is a system that our army said it will never procure. we have spent already $3 billion on this system -- mrs. murray: mr. president, the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: will the senate please come to order. the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: it is essentially a missile to no nowhere. the chairman of the armed services committee has said we feel strongly that it is a waste of money. so we've already appropriated $380 billion -- excuse me, million in 2013 for something that our troops will never use, and some have argued that
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there's an agreement that we'd have to pay termination fees on. that's false. the actual agreement says that the responsibilities of the participants will be subject to the availability of funds appropriated for such purposes. the language is clear. with $16 trillion of debt, i would irk m urge my colleagues p funding the missile to nowhere and make sure ow taxpayer dollars are used wisely. thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i would like to suggest that the amendments being offered by the senator from new hampshire is unnecessary. it relates to fiscal year 2014. there will be no request for this missile system in fiscal year 2014. i suggest if she wants to pass this, she might. but perhaps she could do it by voice vote because her amendment won't apply to any suggested funding for this missile system in the next year.
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the presiding officer: the the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i am amenable to a voice vote. the presiding officer: the yeas and nays have been asked for. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be a sufficient second. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i would ask that the chairman be recognized. she tried to get recognition. she couldn't. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: before we go to the roll call vote on this i want to remind all of us that what we are here trying to do is pass a budget out of the united states senate. i've heard from so many people for so many months about how important it is that we get a budget out, so we can move to the next process in this whole thing of getting our country back on track. and we are trying to do it in a
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responsible way. we've had a really great debate in our committee, out here on the floor many, many senators participated. we've now had i believe 62 or 63 amendments, and i think that we have a responsibility to work towards final passage here. i'm aware that not every senator had an opportunity to have an amendment. but i think many, many senators have to say that they were able to get their amendments. we've had amendments on virtually every topic here tonight, including the budget. but i would really -- [laughter] mrs. murray: but i would really ask all senators to stop and think about what we are showing the american public. what we would like the american public to think is that a united states senate as a group of 100 people that we can have a process to move a budget forward and vote on it, whether we agree with it or we disagree with it. and i think we're pretty much
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there in showing the american public that we can have a good debate, have numerous amendments, have our voices heard. at the end of the day, it is a "yes" or "no" vote. so while we have this next vote, i would really like everyone to just take a second and think about how we look to the american people and how important it is that we move this process along so that we can come to a final conclusion and hopefully a bipartisan agreement to get our country back on track. thank you, mr. president. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, i thank the chair, chairman murray, for her leer an leadersd for her helping us move amendments tonight. we are in a situation where we're -- we have no need to debate into the night. but i wish we had not been in the position where the majority leader was derld to finish this weekend. i wish we could have started earlier this the week or come
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back april 8 and had a whole week. that's not possible. we've gone four years without a budget. members have been constricted in filing of amendments this year, more than any other time in probably the history of the senate. you have to ask -- beg permission to have somebody allow you to have an amendment. senator ayotte is one of those. senator moran and others had amendments. they're frustrated. they want their votes. i would just say, let's keep going, keep a good humor, try get as many of these votes in as possible. i had several members suggest that we might vote from our chairs and not leave the chamber and cut these roll call votes down to a much shorter period of time. maybe we could discuss that. but i think the list needs to be continued to be produced. a number of senators haven't had amendments, and they really feel like they have a right to. this may be their only opportunities, the way things
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are going thisee, to even get a vote on something they care about. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: we do have a vote that needs to occur. i would just say that we want to get a budget passed, and i know that the minority wants us to pass a budget. we've been told that time and time again. we can't pass a budget if we are filibustered by amendments for the rest of the night. so i would just urge all of our colleagues to let's have this vote, let's have some discussions and see if we can come to a final conclusion. with that, the yeas and nays have been ordered, and i ask -- i ask for the yeas and nays. a senator: mr. president? mr. vitter: mr. president, point of information. the presiding officer: the no senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: i would like to ask the distinguished budget chair, what delay or what conflict with any other events could this possibly pose until at least 6:00 or 7:00 a.m.?
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i don't understand what delay that would cause to allow more votes on amendments or what conflict that could possibly pose with any other events including airplane flights, at least until several hours from now. so none of us want to delay the process and none of us want to prevent a vote and clearly that's not an issue for several hours. i would just ask that to the distinguished chair. mrs. murray: well, mr. president, i would just -- i can keep on standing all night. i'm sure a number of senators have -- i do have a respect for a number of our senators here who are -- may not be able to stand as long as some of us or who are elderly and i would just ask consideration of them. that's just my request. with that, i do think we need to get it a vote here. the presiding officer: there has been a request for the yeas and nays. is there a sufficient second?
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there appears to be. there is a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the ayes are 94, the nays 5. the amendment is adopted. under the previous order, the majority has the next amendment. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order.
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mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. please take your conversations out of the well. the senate will be in order. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, we have been working throughout the last vote. i hope -- i am hoping that we're getting to a very short list here in the near future. i recognize that there are senators that are frustrated, that want an opportunity to speak out. i know that there are a number of senators who are very tired. everybody's patience is wearing thin. i would just ask everybody to hold your patience for just a few more minutes. i am going to put us into 00 quorum call and get an agreement here and give everybody some certainty so that we can get this down. i know on our side we want to get a budget passed, mr. chairman -- mr. president. we've been working for a great deal of time. we want to move this process forward. we know there are senators on the other side who may not agree
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with our budget, but also -- but agree with us that we have got to move to a process to get our country back on track. so, i would ask everybody's patience for just a short while here. hopefully we can get this resolved and get a budget passed. so, mr. president, i -- mr. sessions: mr. president? mr. president, could we -- the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mrs. murray: i will hold the floor, and i will yield for a question. mr. sessions: mr. president, will the senator yield for a question with regard to the possibility of us starting one of the votes that will probably be a roll call vote and leat get started 0en that while we work out the further details? mrs. murray: mr. president, i would be willing to